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Running head: BIOGRAPHY OF ALLAN PINKERTON1Biography of Allan PinkertonHelen ReynoldsCJS/250 - Introduction to SecurityApril 14, 2013Jerry Maloon
BIOGRAPHY OF ALLAN PINKERTON2Biography of Allan PinkertonAllan Pinkerton (August 25, 1819-July 1, 1884) born in Glasgow, Scotland to Isobel McQueen and William Pinkerton is one of the most influential figures in security history. Allan Pinkerton was the son of a municipal police sergeant who died of injuries sustained from a prisoner in custody leaving the Pinkerton family in great poverty. As a young adult in Scotland, he found work as a cooper (barrel maker) and became an activist in the Chartist movement that sought social and political reform. His involvement with this movement forced him to emigrate to the United States in 1842. Allan Pinkerton settled in the Chicago area and set up a cooper’s shop. Pinkerton was an activist against slavery and used his business as a station for escaped slaves traveling the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North (Allen Pinkerton, 2013). Pinkerton’s detective career began by coincidence where he learned that security services could be a lucrative enterprise (Clifford, 2004). By accident while cutting wood one day, Pinkerton discovered a gang of coin counterfeiters. He later assisted in the apprehension of the coin counterfeiters that also led to other arrest. His successful crime fighting skills led to his appointment as deputy sheriff and special agent for the U.S. Post Office. Pinkerton was Chicago’s first full time detective. In 1850, Pinkerton resigned from the Chicago police force and organized the first private detective agency specializing in railroad theft. This agency became known as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.